Winnipeg Jets 23-22-6, 52 pts
Tampa Bay Lightning 22-23-4, 48 pts
6:30pm Tampa Bay Times Forum
Game 2 of a 4 game swing kicks off tonight in Tampa. The Jets look to build off of their big shootout win over the Flyers the other night. Theres some great news tonight as the Jets get Big Buff and Burmistrov back. It will be interesting to see how much Claude Noel uses his two returning players. Buff has been out for a month so don’t expect him to be logging monster minutes. Still no word on when Kane might be back but it definitely won’t be during this road trip. The Jets face a Bolts team that is on the rise. They have won 5 in a row and Stamkos is on fire. Should be interesting to see how the Jets coaching staff tries to contend with the Blots high flying attack.
GET BUFF GOING
When Buff was out of the lineup the Jets lost a whole dimension to their attack. Teams didn’t have to plan for the big guy making end to end rushes or his double digit shot attempts each game. Well tonight the enigmatic player makes his return. He probably won’t be leading the Jets in ice time but do expect him to see a lot of time on the power play. The Jets have missed his big shot from the point. What will have to wait and see though is how his defensive game has been affected by his time off. Hopefully his fitness level has been maintained and he isn’t a liability on the blue line. When Buff is good he’s unstoppable but when he’s bad well he’s really bad. Lets just hope the good one came back from injury tonight.
SHUT DOWN STAMKOS
Stamkos has been on fire as of late. The Bolts are looking to turn their season around and to do so they need their young star flying. The Jets will need to figure out a way to shut him down. The best way is to put the body to him early. Make Stamkos pay for every puck. They also need to make sure he doesn’t have space. There is no room for a zone defense tonight. The Jets are going to need to keep a man close on Stamkos at all times. The more pressure we can put on the young star the better. If they give him even a few feet of space he will make the Jets pay.
The Jets come right back tomorrow night with another game against the Panthers. That is a game that they must win in order to maintain pace in the South East. Yet first they must contend with the Bolts. The Jets are going to need to figure out a way not to wear themselves out. The best way to do that is to run four lines. The more that the Jets can spread out the ice time the better. So in order to do that Winnipeg will need to jump out to a quick and hopefully multi goal lead. The longer this game stays close the worse tomorrow night is going to be.
Category: Jets News